Variably referred to as an "Ewok," a "teddy bear," and a "monkey dog," an impossibly adorable black affenpinscher named Banana Joe brought home the Best In Show title at last night's 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show.
A 5-year-old polyglot ("he speaks German, Dutch, Spanish and English," said co-owner Mieke Cooijmans) from Attleboro, Mass., Joe's win last night was his 86th best-in-show title overall.
"He's won a lot of big shows, but not like this one," said Ernesto Lara, Joe's handler. "He's a very tough little guy. He's just a comedian. He doesn't know his size. He doesn't know he has a fluffy face. He thinks he's Mr. America."
2,721 dogs from 187 breeds participated in the show, but only a handful left the area with a ribbon.
The title of "reserve best in show" was given to an Old English sheepdog aptly named Swagger. Though just 20-months-old, Swagger was a crowd favorite, inspiring shouts of "pick the sheepdog" from audience members.
Other best-in-show runners-up include Jewel the American foxhound; Honor the bichon frise; Oakley the German wirehaired pointer; Adam the smooth fox terrier; and Matisse the Portuguese water dog (who shares his breed with the First Dog, Bo).
But last night belonged to Banana Joe, and it will be a memorable one to say the least: Joe's first Westminster Kennel Club win was also his final dog show.
According to Lara, Joe will soon return to the Netherlands, his place of birth, where he will live out his days being adorable.
[photos via AP]